Surround Stakes Tips – Godolphin fillies hold the key
Looking for Surround Stakes Tips on Saturday February 29? Our form expert previews the fillies feature at Randwick and gives his best bet for the race.
SURROUND STAKES PREVIEW:
The three Godolphin fillies look hardest to beat here but I think their last start finishing order can be reversed.
The trio filled the Trifecta placings in the Group 2 Lightfinger Stakes (1200m) with Flit (1st) and Lyre (2nd) finishing over the top of Kiamichi (3rd) who led until the 150m mark.
Each of the fillies were first-up, and each should have plenty of improvement to come, but the real question is: who will improve most second-up?
Flit had blinkers for the first time and that looked to be a clear indicator they were aiming to win with her first-up.
She generally lowers her BM performance rating second-up so I’m willing to take her on here.
Kiamichi also doesn’t improve significantly second-up, and her best runs have been deeper into a preparation.
She’s also a mudlark and has posted her strongest figures on Soft to Heavy ground, and with Randwick being a Good-rated track on Saturday, I think she loses her edge.
THE BIG IMPROVER
Anthony Freedman’s filly, Lyre, is the one that can really improve second-up, and I think she can turn the tables on Flit.
She finished 5th at Flemington on debut and then rated poorly when winning at Sale second-up.
However, the Sale performance was full of merit as the leaders crawled early going 17 lengths slower than BM to the 600m, and Lyre had no right to run them down in the straight.
First-up next campaign she was 4th in the Quezette Stakes (1100m) going 2.4 lengths quicker than BM, and second-up she improved out of sight going 9.9 lengths quicker than BM when runner-up to William Thomas (1100m) at Caulfield.
Lyre posted her strongest first-up figure this time around, and with a dry track and expected second-up improvement, I think she’s the one to beat.
THE MAIN DANGERS
As well as Flit and Kiamichi, I think Chris Waller’s pair, Funstar and Betcha Flying, loom as dangers to Lyre. However, both will get back from their wide gates and they’ll need everything to go their way.
I think Funstar is probably the most progressive filly in this field and she’ll be winning more Group 1 races, but I’m not sure this will be one of them.
The Kiwi filly, Probabeel, has a fitness edge here and it wouldn’t surprise to see her run a bold race, but she’s had four starts at Randwick for two 2nd placings, and that’s a slight concern.
Tony and Calvin McEvoy’s Xilong is also a classy filly, but she’ll have to be more than just classy to be winning a Group 1 first-up over 1400m against this opposition who have race fitness on their side.
SURROUND STAKES VERDICT & BEST BET
Lyre is drawn well in barrier 2 and I think she can hold a forward spot on this map instead of going back.
I’ve mapped her three pairs back and one of the fence, and if she can land in that spot, she’ll have the run of the race.
She’s shown she can improve significantly second-up, and a spike performance should make the difference between this even lot of fillies.
$6.50 looks her right price while I think Funstar ($3.60) and Flit ($3.80) are a bit short in the market.
2020 Surround Stakes Tips:
READ: Randwick Best Bets